Saturday 21st November saw the start on the Portuguese Winter tour. A warm up National event was held in Vale Sabrose.
Our horses started the tour in great form, Fernhill Pimms lead the dressage and stayed there throughout the competition finishing in First place on his dressage score. Loughnatousa Rua was second and Chivas was third. So all in all a good weekend for fernhill!!
The Winter Tour continued in Vales Sabrose with the International 1 and 2 star events starting with the Vets inspection on 26th November. As always the beautiful venue of Vale Sabrose was looking great and the Sunshine was a bonus!!
The Cross country had a new designer this year in the form of Eric Winter so there were a few new questions and the course took a slightly different route and had a bit of an English flavor.
Fernhill Aristoteles as always was a star and Won the 2 star. He is such a poser and loved the atmosphere at the prize giving, the first three received Medals and lovely Trophies of cut glass horses.
Aristoteles winning 2 star Vale Sabrose
Rua did a super dressage test and show jumped clear leaving him well up the order. However the Cross Country was a different story!!! More training in this department before Barocca next week I think is in order!!!
Chivas was a dote, he tried so hard in the Dressage and was just a mark behind Rua he jumped class in the show jumping and just had a little glance off jumping into the second water when Duarte was a little quick off the corner and the fence took Chivas by surprise. We were delighted with him tho and feel he is a real prospect for the future.
My good friend and ex Fernhill rider Joao Duarte Silva won the 1 star which was a great result on his home bred and home produced horse who’s name I cannot spell!!!
Duarte receives his Medal in Vale Sabrose
The hospitality at Vale Sabrose is second to none and as always we were well fed and watered all week. Francisco Tudella really knows how to party and on the Saturday put on a great bash for everyone. The band of the Sunshine tour in the Spring returned to everyones delight and we danced the night away.
The Final event of the Winter Tour was as usual in Barroca D’Alva, home of the Lupi family, great supporters of eventing In Portugal and fantastic hosts.
Aristoteles was contesting the Portuguese Championship with Duarte so was not in the International competition, he was favorite to win this after his recent good form with the horse but as we all know horses are great levelers and it just didn’t happen!! However Aristoteles did perform very well cross country and posted one of the fastest rounds of the day easily and comfortably so we feel he is well ready to move up to 3 star CIC on the Spring Tour.
The Silver Medal in this class was won by Fernhill Casino so he kept the Fernhill flag flying!!! He is now ridden by Ricardo Carrera for Portugal.
Rua lead the Dressage in a very competitive class and show jumped clear which left him in the lead going out to the Cross country, as he has had his problems cross country Duarte took him steady to give him confidence. He had time penalties but was clear which was a real bonus.
But the star of the weekend was Little Chivas who was Double Clear and finished 7th.
Again Joao won the 1 star and won the Bronze Medal with a horse he got from Fernhill for his cousin to contest The Junior European Championships on this year VA Fox an ex ride of Leslie Law. Second was another Fernhill rider Francisco Seabra with his own super Kannan sired 7 year old.
Our only representative in the 2 star was Francisco Seabra on his brother Duartes Irish bred Lord Sally field he finished 9th which was great for his first attempt at this level.
Barroca always run a National Competition at Pre Novice level for the young horses at this event. It gives the Young horses chance to experience atmosphere of an International without the pressure of the bigger fences. Fernhill Pimms fresh from his win in Vale Sabrose again lead from the outset to win this class.
All in all a good winter tour and a lot learned. Great education for our younger horses. Roll on February when it all starts again!!!